First year

September renewal is felt by anyone with children now returning to school or simply with the sight of fresh notebooks and supplies.

Although all academic days are behind me, this blog post by Brianna Anjelique is a great resource for family and friends with first years at college.

Hey there college freshman, now I know what you’re thinking, college seems like it’s going to be SUPER hard and SUPER stressful. Well let me tell you something… you’re right. I won’t sugar coat it, why? Because if I do than I won’t be telling you the truth and you’ll go to school and come […]

via College 101: Advice For College Freshman — Brianna Anjelique

Humanitarian crisis in Avdiivka

The New York Times at 6:30pm today shared this photo essay of citizens in Avdiivka. Pictured above: Bread was distributed by workers from the United Nations refugee agency. 

The town’s chief of emergency services and a British photographer were among the wounded.

We have had many flare-ups before and yet somehow the sides have pulled back, reverting to an uneasy, often violent static confrontational stance,” Alexander Hug, deputy head of the OSCE ceasefire monitoring mission in Ukraine, said on Friday.

Now however the stakes are even higher, there is a potential humanitarian and ecological disaster about to unfold,” he added.

From the TelegraphLocals and aid agencies warn of ‘humanitarian disaster’ as Ukraine fighting sparks diplomatic crisis

📷 Credit Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images

Black Hat vs. White Hat

And the American, white hat opposite reported by The Verge:

Since Inauguration Day, several terrestrial radio stations from around the country have been dealing with the same problem: an unstoppable audio loop of YG and Nipsey Hussle’s track “FDT (Fuck Donald Trump).” Stations in South Carolina, Indiana, Texas, Tennessee, and Kentucky have all had their signals hacked over the past two weeks resulting in unexpected airtime for “FDT,” according to multiplesources.

Beware novice encryption & FSB punditry

A Russian tragedy: Decriminalizing domestic violence

Nikki Haley

… is spineless. And Trump wants to abolish the U.N.

Presidential parallels

Greg Satell of Forbes shares the eerie parallels between the 2016 American and 2010 Ukrainian presidential elections:

The parallels don’t stop […] Both Yanukovych and Donald Trump often expressed admiration for Vladimir Putin and his authoritarian approach. Both hired Paul Manafort to smooth out their image and hone their populist rhetoric. Once in office, Yanukovych jailed his opponent, just as Donald Trump threatened to do to Hillary Clinton.

📷 AP Photo/Olexander Prokopenko

The best hack is always undetected

Perhaps both anger and paranoia can be tools of revitalization in the political arsenal of opposition human rights. Evidence that Russia planted malware in potentially thousands of machines across swing states over a period of many months is now becoming clearer thanks to anonymous software engineering sources inside the United States Department of Justice.

Evidence shared with the DNC by software engineers hired by the U.S. DOJ to protect American systems from state-sponsored actors found malware that manipulated voting tallies in swing states in an effort requiring months of coding by Russia.

The November 2016 elections may have been manipulated and failure to detect the invading software’s code would have been essential to the hack all along.

While the Obama administration was able to build the most software and technological innovations during any presidency to date, the legacy state-sponsored actors have left behind may be the only one remembered.

Andrea shares more from the harrowing months leading up to the election for her family:

And the long-form New York Times article in Russian and English that was used to launch this blog in 2015.

The American public may have just witnessed the beginnings of Russian cyberaggression during the 2016 presidential elections and the worst acts of state-sponsored digital warfare would be yet to come.


Gradient skies

You can use the responsive, mobile-ready theme for this domain on your own website with self-hosted WordPress. The code for this repo is open source on Github; it’s a child theme for one of WordPress’ most popular default themes.

Download or clone the repo on Github.

Allison House captures the simplicity of design in beautiful ways, especially with gradients.

allison house instagram
Visit Allison’s quickly growing body of work through her Instagram, Vine or Facebook. If you’d like to learn more about design and code, consider purchasing her fantastic training series on HTML & CSS development at

Mel Choyce is a software engineer in Boston who inspired me to create this theme with her post from 2015, Gradient Sky.

Browse and take your time choosing your favorite fonts from any source your budget affords including open source, “free” options like Google Fonts.

Background gradient .pngs

Upload these through the WordPress Customizer under the “Header Image” section. Select the “Randomize uploaded headers” button. 

Right-click, 2 finger tap or tap and hold to download and insert the gradients below on any device. These are two-tone gradients, easily recreated in Photoshop or in another app. Apply their full-color voluminousness wherever you want a little more 💖 in your life.

Find further inspiration for gradients at UI Gradients.






Ukrainian soul food

Potato and cheese pierogies or varenykyin Ukrainian are the ultimate comfort food. Enveloped in a silky dough of sour cream filled with a variety of simple ingredients, varenyky are a dumpling from Ukraine in Eastern Europe that anyone can enjoy at home. In the United States and Ukraine, or wherever Ukrainian diaspora have created lasting communities, one of the most popular and traditional varenyky filling are caramelized onion, potato, and cheddar cheese.


This recipe works well with any sharp cheddar available in grocery stores. For further fillings, use the dough recipe below and then complete a simple Google search for mixtures such as sauerkraut, farmer’s cheese, fresh cabbage, mushrooms, berries, plum, and apple.

Varenyky are traditionally consumed in late 19th and 20th-century Ukrainian tradition with sour cream, more hot butter, and caramelized onions.


Varenyky require a lot of time on your feet, so be sure to set aside 3-4 hours total from the start of the dough and filling, to the boiling of the last varenyk. Approximation and trial/error are techniques that can easily be practice in this recipe.







Want to share your recipes? Install the open source recipe publishing tool for developers by Simmer.

Questions? Leave a comment below ☺️ Happy cooking! 🍴🍴🍴


October 11, 2015

This distinctly Ukrainian dumpling recipe can be made absolutely any time of the year, with any type of filling.

  • 65 varenyky


  • 5 c flour
  • 1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 c melted butter
  • 1/2 c sour cream
  • 1 c or so  water not cold
  • 2 c grated cheddar
  • 1 tbsp. kosher salt
  • 6 onions, diced
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 12 medium yellow potatoes, peeled
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • chopped fresh dill (optional garnish)



  1. Beat eggs lightly, mix with flour. Add (sufficiently cooled) butter then sour cream.
  2. Slowly add water in increments. Set in kneading machine on low setting for 5-7 minutes until dough forms. (If by hand, knead a few minutes longer). Dough should be silky upon completion, not as dense as bread dough. Set dough aside in refrigerator for use later.

Potato Filling

  1. Cook diced onions in a pan with 2 TBS butter until caramelized and lightly brown.
  2. Cut and boil peeled potatoes until done. Drain water and add butter, grated cheddar, half the caramelized onions, and salt & pepper. Cover with lid to melt. Then use a potato masher to combine, not whip, the mixture.

Assemble the varenyky

  1. Roll out a portion of the dough with flour above and beneath the dough to easily pull it up. Use the top of a glass at least 3" in diameter to cut out as many circles in your flattened dough as you can fit. Recombine discarded dough to roll out with a new batch later.
  2. Use a melon baller or small ice-cream scoop to portion even amounts of potato filling into a single dough circle. To make the dumpling, stretch out top and bottom of dough circle to create an oval, place scooped mixture in center, and then attach top and bottom pieces of dough to form a "half-moon" around the potato filling. Finish by pinching the dough closed very tightly from edge to edge. Fold in and pinch in corners. Seal tightly so that no dumplings open during boiling later.
  3. Bring half a large pot of water to boil. Boil varenyky for 8-10 minutes, or until they rise to the top and simmer in the rolling water for a few minutes. Continually top off water and keep it boiling as you cook each batch after punching and sealing, in sums of about a dozen.
  4. Serve freshly boiled with remaining caramelized onions and a new dollop of sour cream. Add fresh chopped dill on top as an optional garnish.
  5. To freeze: organize batches of cooled varenyky into freezer gallon bags. You can easily fit a dozen into a single bag. Freeze, and then reheat by boiling or frying to prepare and eat as if they were just freshly made.